Discontinuing service and software updates for older legacy Sonos speakers?


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I just read this about your recent SEC filing:
https://www.theverge.com/2018/7/11/17559380/sonos-airplay-2-support-software-update-download

“We expect that in the near to intermediate term, this backward compatibility will no longer be practical or cost-effective, and we may decrease or discontinue service for our older products,” says Sonos in a recent SEC filing.

When will you let customers know about which products will be affected by this discontinuation plan? Clearly you know internally since you say in the near to immediate term this policy is going ahead. I presume for example the first gen Play 5 you no longer sell will be affected and the old Sonos Bridge.

The problem for those of us using speakers with online services such as Spotify probably means once API changes are made by the service provider, we'll almost certainly be shut out from using those services with our older Sonos speakers.

There's nothing particularly shocking about this. I'm curious what the plan is though and when we'll be told.

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Once play devices become involved, I thinks it's time for "sonos classic" version to keep those alive. Killing cr100 + cr200 is one thing, but killing play devices is another.
The problem for those of us using speakers with online services such as Spotify probably means once API changes are made by the service provider, we'll almost certainly be shut out from using those services with our older Sonos speakers.

There's nothing particularly shocking about this.

Really? I don't expect old kit to do all that newer kit will do, but I do expect it to continue to do all the things that it currently does...
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Once play devices become involved, I thinks it's time for "sonos classic" version to keep those alive. Killing cr100 + cr200 is one thing, but killing play devices is another. AGREE!
No problem with new services not being available, like control from apps like Spotify, voice control like Alexa, or the newly released airplay. But being able to continue streaming and using local media the way I do now, i hope will be kept. I have 20 speakers and it starts to feel like Sonos could care less about people using there system, just the new market.
I downloaded v9 this morning, and chuckled while reading the new features, none of which I will be using. Hmmmm, no new windows program, hmmm nothing cool for my android devices and gui, no new app features like maybe a new virtual grouping option, no cool new home theatre options, no neat amp additions, no cool local media software. So I sit hear watching new hardware and software come out the last few years, but nothing that would make me buy more, and believe me, I'm looking for reasons.
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I'll wait and see what they come up with before getting the pitchforks and torches. If they kill off all my gen 1 play 5's though, that would suck.
Speaking of, does Sonos still update the firmware on the original Play:5? If so, that's not bad for a speaker that came out 9 years ago.
It's a speaker - whilst I don't expect it to get new facilities, I do expect it to carry on doing all that it was bought for indefinitely...
The problem for those of us using speakers with online services such as Spotify probably means once API changes are made by the service provider, we'll almost certainly be shut out from using those services with our older Sonos speakers.

There's nothing particularly shocking about this.

Really? I don't expect old kit to do all that newer kit will do, but I do expect it to continue to do all the things that it currently does...


This is one of the downsides of these speaker systems. Sonos are not going to keep supporting older devices forever. Once features break such as Spotify integration, that's it.

Of course it's not without risk for Sonos. Once we start getting cut off, some of us will evaluate whether we want to stay in the Sonos ecosystem. I certainly won't be adding to my Sonos setup with new speakers until I know what Sonos plans are for handling this.
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Absolutely seething. Having invested thousands of pounds into this future proof, problem free streaming system beginning in 2015, I’m now about to be held to ransom to the tune of £1,500.00 if I wish to continue using the other 3/4’s of my system? That’s absolutely outrageous, bordering on criminal. 
 

I don’t want voice assistants, I’m not bothered about new features, and if I am, I’ll upgrade accordingly. The speakers I’ve invested in should work to the best of their ability until mechanical failure. This is forced obsolescence.

 

I very nearly purchased another set of Play 5’s and a Beam recently so I can move the older players around and increase coverage in the house, and was considering a couple of Move’s for the kids, absolutely no chance of that now. I’ll be searching for an alternative and off loading my Sonos ASAP.


I’m disgusted.

 

 

Just to bump this old thread. Very pissed off now that my Sonos Play 5 Gen 1, bought just seven years ago, is effectively obsolete. Sonos inform me that I now have the choice of junking it or not allowing my whole system to update.

I used to rave about Sonos to other people. I’d now suggest they approach with caution because I suspect this is a policy designed to extract ££. What do you reckon? Am I wrong?

Before anybody says “just seven years ago?’… yep. I don’t think that kind of lifetime is remotely acceptable these days. 

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I Agree, absolutely shocking of Sonos to do this.   I just got the email.   Affects 6 of my devices.  3 Play 5 Gen 1, Conencct, Connect:amp, Play 3………

 

They should figure out that many many people will want to use these so called ‘legacy’ products for many many years - maybe 10,20,30,40 years - indefinitely.  They should figure a way for the s/w updates to only happen to the newer products but keep the older products working, there is noting wrong with them - talk about wasting the planet’s resources.   Come on Sonos - get a grip on yourself!

I will not bin my old products, so will just stay on the older os with the ‘legacy’ units until sonos try to kill my system, and then they will be facing a legal case……..

Just to bump this old thread. Very pissed off now that my Sonos Play 5 Gen 1, bought just seven years ago, is effectively obsolete. Sonos inform me that I now have the choice of junking it or not allowing my whole system to update.

I used to rave about Sonos to other people. I’d now suggest they approach with caution because I suspect this is a policy designed to extract ££. What do you reckon? Am I wrong?

Before anybody says “just seven years ago?’… yep. I don’t think that kind of lifetime is remotely acceptable these days. 

Willwriter, I agree 100%.

 

Such a poor strategy from Sonos to force customers to remove Play 5 speakers from their Sonos system or forgo any future updates to their entire fleet of systems devices. I have been using Sonos for around 6 years and have 7 devices now, I’ve loved it and been a strong advocate for the brand, but there’s no way I’ll buy another device or recommend Sonos now, this feels like such a cheap move.

 

I work in IT and understand the need to lifecycle manage HW products out, but for me 6 years of useful life is on the lean side. Plus I refuse to believe that there is not a way to keep “legacy” units as part of a system but perhaps just don’t roll new features and functionality out to those particular items.

 

Hopefully somebody in Sonos product management reads this thread, because I don’t think willwriter and I will be the only 2 people who are angry with this.

 

For what it’s worth I thinks Sonos is great value and good sounding kit at the price point and would continue to add / evolve my system if there was some supported option for the legacy devices as described above, but if not I’ll be looking into the myriad of competing devices that are catching up to Sonos in the price/performance and tech features set; for any future purchases. 
 

Sonos, I expect that many of your loyal customers will now consider their options and you may end up with a scenario where second hand product is flooded onto the market making for seemingly good buying for any prospective new Sonos customers out there; that’s gonna slow new product sales… and when they discover you will soon EOL the Gen2 Play 5’s and other products (Gen1 Playbar and Sub 😱)… what happens next?

 

Could this be the beginning of the end for Sonos???? Maybe I’m just being dramatic... but I am pretty bloody annoyed.

AGREE!
No problem with new services not being available, like control from apps like Spotify, voice control like Alexa, or the newly released airplay. But being able to continue streaming and using local media the way I do now, i hope will be kept. I have 20 speakers and it starts to feel like Sonos could care less about people using there system, just the new market.
I downloaded v9 this morning, and chuckled while reading the new features, none of which I will be using. Hmmmm, no new windows program, hmmm nothing cool for my android devices and gui, no new app features like maybe a new virtual grouping option, no cool new home theatre options, no neat amp additions, no cool local media software. So I sit hear watching new hardware and software come out the last few years, but nothing that would make me buy more, and believe me, I'm looking for reasons.


I think you bring up some excellent points. Clearly Sonos is trying to appeal to a wide audience and it becomes rather difficult to appeal to everyone. Like you, I have no real interest in airplay 2, but I am interested in the Beam and voice control. I don't care about local media, but agree on virtual grouping. There are plenty of customers on here that do care about airplay 2, and are only going to ever buy one or two units and don't care much about multiroom functionality. There are all sorts of us on here. Sonos is kind of in a catch-22 in then it's difficult to please all their customers with their variety of needs and wishes, both old and new customers.

Apparently, the program is misinformed, as Sonos has announced that the “legacy” devices will continue to work as they do today, and just not receive any new features, which is a far cry from “bricking” devices.

And none of the devices you listed in your post are considered “legacy”, all that you own will continue to receive all updates for the foreseeable future. 

You’re free to recommend or not as you see fit, but please do so with accurate facts, rather than rumors. 

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Sonos is not a speaker, so expecting it to be like a speaker is nonsense. Sonos is an integrated multi-room music streamer, with significant reliance on an external ecosystem which includes things like cloud services, streaming services, voice services, etc...

... Sonos is a for profit company, and how much profit is to be made if they waste manpower on a configuration which will eventually lose most if not all functionality, for a forever dwindling user base, who by definition will never buy another Sonos device? Answer: Not much.

 

Pardon me but Sonos calls their products “speakers”.

Would have no problem with this if across very webpage and ad that Sonos (and every other company offering similar ‘ecosystems’), presents to the buying public it was very prominently made clear that it was “a licenced hardware ecosystem reliant on ongoing hardware support which will eventually inevitably be withdrawn as specific hardware is deemed by Sonos to have become obsolete for whatever reason”, even if on a ‘long’ life cycle. 

They don’t do that because they know that if they did, their market (and the whole market for similar systems) would not have grown to the extent it has.  Such conditions will no doubt be buried within the small print of the licence but they know that no-one reads that when looking at the glossy ads or are in an outlet about to purchase. 

 

Having invested heavily I will do the best I can with the speakers I have and will adapt to get them to work for as long as possible but I have now decided that I will buy no more. I might even resort to wiring some of them but that sort of defeats the obviously major selling point of a ‘wireless’ system. 

These are the conceits of this model of music ‘delivery’.

 

Yes… I was sold a wireless speaker - and their website still headlines with:
Sonos | Wireless Speakers and Home Sound Systems
Sonos is the ultimate wireless home sound system

Not Sonos - a software company which requires constant updates without which your investment is worthless… something which skirts close to not being fit for purpose.

And definitely not… as system where you spend ~£400 on a (mono) speaker that will only be support for 5 years.  If I knew this upfront… I doubt I would have bought as much of their stuff… especially as you need two of these things to get stereo sound!

If there are issues with streaming services, you should still be able use the basic/NAS functionality at least.  

On a sustainability front… I was constantly told how well built the speakers are… if the computer part is getting a bit tired… if well designed… this could be refurbished/updated without chucking the entire speaker (he says typing on his 10 year old Thinkpad, which has has upgraded memory, battery and a few other bits inc. Win 10 and is still going strong). 

Another part of this is Sonos backtracking on their statements… and shows their commitment to sustainability to be undermined by a serious problem of inbuilt redundancy and poor design… and the ability withdraw expensive products with very little notice, and minimal compensation (30% of full retail is not a lot) makes buying in to Sonos a much less attractive proposition.

there is not any valid business reason that Sonos cannot enable their older models to continue to work... particularly if they care about the customer base that brought them here. I fully expect someday to have to get a newer product to serve as a core - that then enables all my Play:1 devices to be fed.
Considering the original Play:5 is the only Play speaker Sonos aren't selling anymore
Speaking of, does Sonos still update the firmware on the original Play:5? If so, that's not bad for a speaker that came out 9 years ago.

All the original players are still supported with firmware updates, including the ZP100 which came out 13 years ago.

New features like Airplay cannot be retrofitted to the older players. Also, some features have been adjusted, such as the fact that ZP100 (and ZP80) can no longer do incremental library index updates. (A more capable player is selected automatically, failing which a full index scan takes place.)
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Because of this statement, I am really analyzing carefully my next steps.

One year ago I purchased the playbar, a 2013 speaker if I am not wrong, paying the full price tag without any discount. If I had the feeling that there were any chances to be left out by Sonos , I would never think about paying 700 bucks for a TV sound bar.

I was really considering to buy the Sonos beam that would fit perfectly in a small room, but right now, with "still" small concern about having units discontinued in the future, I am forced to wait.

I have 1 play 5 (1st gen), 1 play 3, 2 connect:amp , 1 sonos one, 1 bridge and the playbar. I really enjoy the ecosystem, but it is not an option to start replacing units every year

Sonos is not (should at least not) be like a cell phone or laptop. I have only one laptop for long periods as it only needs software updates and for sure it is not a cell phone, otherwise It would be like having 7 children that need new cell phones each 2 , 3 years...

I believe that if Sonos start to discontinue support to old speakers, people would stop purchasing "old solutions" creating a lack of solutions for a ecosystem.

I was not happy with the controller phase out. Not providing the expect updates to keep it running was really not smart, but considering that people have free app solution to continue running the system, ok. But to discontinue one speaker and forcing me to purchase a new speaker to keep the ecosystem that might be discontinued shortly as well ? I will probably find new market solutions that are less expensive
Sonos record so far: one ancient piece of tech became unsupportable 10 years after sales discontinued. All speakers / players still fully compatible and usable, including ZP80s from 13 years ago and not on sale for ages. Sonos' record for avoiding obsolescence is second to none. Up to you if you choose to go elsewhere, of course.


I was not happy with the controller phase out. Not providing the expect updates to keep it running was really not smart, but considering that people have free app solution to continue running the system, ok. But to discontinue one speaker and forcing me to purchase a new speaker to keep the ecosystem that might be discontinued shortly as well ? I will probably find new market solutions that are less expensive


"Finding market solutions that are less expensive" is going to be difficult. Here's the competition:

Bose: 4th full product line revamp in 5 years, with significant compatibility problems between the lines. Slightly more expensive.
Denon: 3rd full product line revamp in 4 years, sued by Sonos for patent infringement.
Bluesound: Significantly more expensive.
Yamaha: Failed at multi-room music 3 times already.
Samsung/LG/etc.: Not even denting the market.

Meanwhile, Sonos has been in business since 2002, with products released in 2005, of which only the CR100 is not supported. They have never had a revamp of the entire line that had significant compatibility issues with older units, a brand new Sonos One or Beam can be grouped with an original ZP100 and play every source Sonos has. This cannot be said for Bose et al.

For example, Alexa and other cloud based voice control is backwards compatible to nearly 14 year old devices. It is only Airplay functionality that has been added to recent items and not to older devices due to hardware issues (and yet you can still group the older units in and play an Airplay 2 source). Can you name one brand new digital technology that is backwards compatible to 14 year old devices?
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Just to bump this old thread. Very pissed off now that my Sonos Play 5 Gen 1, bought just seven years ago, is effectively obsolete. Sonos inform me that I now have the choice of junking it or not allowing my whole system to update.

I used to rave about Sonos to other people. I’d now suggest they approach with caution because I suspect this is a policy designed to extract ££. What do you reckon? Am I wrong?

Before anybody says “just seven years ago?’… yep. I don’t think that kind of lifetime is remotely acceptable these days. 

I’m with you on this… 

Sonos needs to address why a very expensive speaker will suddenly stop working less than 10 years after purchase... or compromise the entire system - which is what they sold - this needs to be much better explained or they will be significantly damaging their reputation and my trust in the brand - and therefore, any future investment.

I understand new services may not work if they require a bump in hardware but surely they could manage a better way to support system integrity especially as the speaker has always worked fine (give or take) - or the refurbish hardware. 

They seem to be setting down an extremely expensive path with no certainty of how long a product will last or be useful.  Insane.  This needs to be better thought through and explained.  Quickly.

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It's a speaker - whilst I don't expect it to get new facilities, I do expect it to carry on doing all that it was bought for indefinitely...

 


No, it is not a speaker. It is a multi-room music system, with software you have licensed from the manufacturer, and for which you do not have a lifetime expectation of support. Next time, read your agreement before clicking "Install".

 


jgatie, why are you usually the bully in the room?

from the number of replies looks like jgatie spends more time here than listening to Sonos….is jgatie a Sonos person?

 

How do you do that when Sonos now insists on updating or withdraws your ability to use the system by disabling functionality?

I am sure that Sonos and other similar companies have covered themselves in the licence agreements we all consent to when LICENCING these products from Sonos (we do not buy them). Something else that is not made utterly transparent in the very slick marketing.

 

Sonos is no longer insisting you update.  You can opt out of updates if you have legacy devices.  


Now that is a very helpful reply. Thank you.  Hadn’t noticed as I’d given up thinking about it and resigned myself to being controlled by Sonos. 

Do we though get the chance to roll back to software that doesn’t include all the vocie activated control stuff when not needed?   And what if I’ve updated before realising that I could opt out?  Don’t think that was made very obvious.  I certainly missed the announcement.  So if I potentially hobble my whole Sonos system by rejecting updates for reason of ‘legacy’ devices that I may want to use in future, does that mean I will be able to use my old Connect?

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They need to allow us to keep older devices - perhaps with reduced functionality - on the same network as newer devices with up-to-date functionality. Otherwise, no one will have the confidence to invest in their system.

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...but not as a system?  Becuase all units in the system need to be using the same software…?  Or have I misunderstood?

 

You have not misunderstood, it is THIS very point that is the real issue.  They could fairly easily freeze the s/w version on ‘legacy’ devices and continue to update the ‘newer’, supported devices.   Many other suppliers to it with all sorts of devices. it’s called maintaining backward compatibility. 

 

I plan to just continue to use all my ‘legacy’ devices and hopefully it will continue to run for years, one day I’m sure streaming services like spottily will have evolved to thee point that they no longer work with my old sonos s/w - at that stage I will  b left with just my collection of music on a hard drive.  That should run forever!

And, hopefully by that time, some clever so and so will have hacked sonos and made a freeware version of something that gets the streaming services working again.  OR, MAYBE: Sonos will release their ‘legacy’ code into the public domain, so we can progress it ourselves!!

 

 

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For me it’s a shame.

What about Play 1 in one year? And Play 3?

Will be the same as today with Play 5 gen 1?

Can we trust Sonos in the Future?

 

My ZP90 (Connect) is also “Not modern” any more. But you can stiil be able to buy it on internet (Not official Sonos).

A shame!

 

 

Sonos handled this extremely poorly. Most manufactures will continue to provide software updates for at least 5 years after they discontinue a product. I am a Sonos dealer and I received from Sonos my last Connect Amp shipment in January 2019. My last Connect was shipped to me in March 2019. I have customers with systems less than 1 year old that is now obsolete. They should have seen this coming and come out with a Connect Amp and Connect 2.0 years ago to avoid this issue. 

Yes… it’s exactly that. Waste. I can remember having a conversation at Richer Sounds* about this when I bought my first speaker and basically being told they were future proof. 

*UK reta